Do What You Like!

By: Matt Young

I like to do what I like to do.  How about you? 

But what does that mean for your running? 

I like to run easy, and I like to run long and I like fartkleks, and I like hill repeats. I don’t like intervals (short or long) and I don’t like tempo runs.  So I do what I like.

But lately I’ve tolerated intervals and even secretly enjoyed them. Most of my year round training is for longer events which tends to leave me lacking when it comes to the leg speed needed for shorter road events, even up to the half marathon.  But with upcoming races this fall I’ve been hitting the track for intervals and I’ve had a good time.

But, today I didn’t feel like it.  So, I didn’t do it.

What I’ve realized over time is that when I dread a workout I have a much greater chance of laying in bed  and skipping the workout all together.  And since I’ve come to know and understand myself instead of dreading the workout I just change it. For example, this morning I had decided to go to a nearby neighborhood with some rolling hills and run ¾ mile intervals.  But when my alarm went off I was dreading the run so it took me about 15 seconds to bag that one and switch to hill repeats, which I almost always like to do.  The result was a good run to build leg strength and speed instead of laying in bed.

You’ll be much more likely to get the workouts and miles you need for your goal race when you have fun doing it.  If I do any one on one coaching I always ask in the initial interview what workouts the runner likes to do. And I also ask what they don’t like to do. Then we can develop plan that has a lot of stuff they like to do and only limited amounts of the dreaded stuff.  

Here are a few bottom lines:

  1. This is supposed to be recreation. Unless you’re an Olympic hopeful remember that your running should be enjoyable and good for you both physically and mentally.
  2. Do what you like.  Find the type of running you like to do and do more of it.  Identify the runs you don’t like and do them only when you really feel like. It makes number one much more feasible.
  3. Remember the 10 minute rule. If you have a run scheduled and you just don’t feel like going, make a deal with yourself to get out the door and run for 10 minutes away from your house or office. If after 10 minutes you still don’t feel like running then turn around and go home. Chances are you’ll keep right on running. You just needed a push out the door.

Matt Young is the head coach of Genesis Running and loves to help people run their first 5k. Learn more about the next class starting October 4th at


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